SOUTH BEND, IN - After dropping the first two games of the series by a combined score of 10-5, the South Bend Cubs beat the Quad Cities River Bandits 7-4 to avoid a three game sweep and pick up some much needed momentum heading into a three game series against the Cedar Rapids Kernels.
The Cubs are now 49-42 (9-12 in the second half), which puts them four games behind the Bowling Green Hot Rods for a second half playoff spot.
WHAT HAPPENED: Quad Cities scored first scored on Marcos Almonte's pop-single just inside the first base foul line, but Chris Pieters tripped in route to field the shallow hit pop-up and the ball rolled to the outfield fence leading to an inside-the-park home run and another early lead for the River Bandits.
Trailing 3-0, the Cubs fought back for two runs in the bottom of the second on singles from Kevonte Mitchell and Andruw Monasterio to make it a 3-2 ballgame.
But the River Bandits would not go quietly scoring again in the top of the third as Carmen Benedetti crossed the plate on Daz Cameron's groundball double play.
Nevertheless, the Cubs made another comeback in the bottom of the third, this time to take the lead. In that inning, Austin Upshaw hit a leadoff triple to get the offense going, which was then promptly followed by Pieters' sac-fly to tie the game 4-4.
Quad Cities' pitcher, Dustin Hunt then issued a walk to Isaac Paredes and Joe Martarano reached safely on a fielding error by third baseman, Marcos Almonte.
Following the error, Tyler Payne and Mitchell both hit RBI-singles to give the Cubs the 5-4 lead heading into the fourth.
South Bend later added two more runs in the bottom of the fifth on a double by Paredes and four singles including D.J. Wilson's spectacular bunt that rolled so closely down the third base foul line that Almonte let the ball hit the base and get into the outfield, which allowed Paredes to score from second.
Pedro Silverio (H, 5) and Mark Malave (S, 1) worked three scoreless innings of relief to secure the Cubs' 7-4 win.
PAYNE & WILSON LEAD OFFENSE: Coming off a night when they went a combined 2-7, Tyler Payne and D.J. Wilson led the South Bend offense Friday night going 4-7 with three RBI and three runs scored.
After hitting below .175 in his first stint with South Bend, Tyler Payne was sent to short-season Eugene for 10 games; however, since he has returned to the Cubs, he has hit .375 with five RBI in six games. He went 2-3 with two RBI, a walk, and a run scored in the 7-4 win over Quad Cities.
Since coming back from the disabled list on July 3, Wilson has hit .412 (14-34) with five home runs and 14 RBI in 9 games. The Canton, Ohio native went 2-4 with two runs scored and a RBI in Friday night's final game against the River Bandits.
Cubs: Jose Paulino is scheduled to start Game 1 tomorrow against the Cedar Rapids Kernels. He is 4-2 with a 5.12 ERA in 17 appearances (12 games started) this season.
River Bandits: Quad Cities will continue their six game road trip against the West Michigan Whitecaps in a three game series before returning home to take on the Lansing Lugnuts series at Modern Woodman Park.
Photo credit: Emma Reese
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.